Music of the Week

It isn’t often that I get to speak about the music of the week but the music we are listening to this week is from my favorite collection. For music of the week, I usually pick a genre, composer or style of music to play throughout the week, usually at lunch time. I try to make sure there is a mix of classical, jazz, musicals and others that I think the students would enjoy. I typically introduce them to the music on Monday, tell them a little bit about it and show a couple of videos of the music if there are any. I think it is really nice to be able to expose students to a wide variety of music beyond what they might typically hear on the radio. There is so much out there that is beautiful and amazing.

This week, we are listening to the musical version of The Lord of the Rings. It was created and performed first in Toronto before moving on to London and, as you can imagine, is a pretty major effort to get onto the stage. Three massive books in 3 and a half hours is not easy. But the music is, oh  so beautiful and I thought I would share a couple of my favorite videos of the music with you.

The last video is a neat video of the Eagle Nebula


Are You Ready For December? The Mrhclassblog Is!!!

3563912840_23a0fdeccdAhh! Flakes falling gently. Snow crunching underfoot! Snowmen being made by little Grade 3 children. Snowballs flying through the air! I love the winter season!

Wait a minute . . .

Oh. Right. I forgot.

I live in B.C now. Rain, rain, more rain and . . . . wait for it . . . that’s right! More rain! I miss the snow. Lucky for you and me. I brought some now from Alberta to the blog. I hope you enjoy it. We had a good start to the week. In science, students are quickly finishing up the first part of the science unit on building. Last week, we learned that stable objects are objects that do not tip over easily and stand up on their own. We did an experiment with a variety of  containers and had a little tournament to see which one would stand the longest as the table they were standing on was tilted slowly up. From that experiment, we learned that the taller and object is, the wider the base had to be and the more weight there had to be on the bottom.

Here is a video of some kids trying to build a tall structure. Do you notice anything about their structure that matches what we learned last week and today?

Do you notice anything about these buildings? (I didn’t write it so the spelling mistakes are not mine!!)

Using that knowledge, students have now been assigned the task of designing a sippy cup for Siena that will be stable and not tip over easily. The results should be very interesting!

Our Daily 3 is now on the way to running smoothly. The Listening Centre area had a few more kinks in it than I expected. But it is working better now. Thank you to all the parents who donated machines to the class. They are working beautifully. My goal and objective now is to start working in small groups with students focusing on books and reading strategies specifically geared to their age and reading level. We will be doing novel studies and comprehension activities as a small group of no more than 4 students. It should be very good. I will also be working with individual students to hear how their reading is doing and  provide individual attention on an on-going basis.

Here is our spelling for this week:
Spelling N 3

SpellingN3As always, here is the spelling city link. Remember that if you bring me your completed test, you can receive an extra mark on your spelling test on Friday!!! The more you practice your words using games and other activities, the stronger your neurons and axons get!!!

Our Memory Verse continues on the Christmas-y theme here at Mrhclassblog! It is from Luke 2:10:

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Finally, I thought this would be good to add to our collection of videos. This is from a cd of Science music we were listening to last week. It is by a group called “They Might Be Giants”. Anyone from my generation might remember them. Anyway, they have been getting into children’s music lately and this CD has a great collection of songs. The added DVD has the songs as videos and I found some of them on youtube. Enjoy!

A Little Weekend Music

Here is a little bit of fun to start of your weekend. We have been listening to the Brad Mehldau Trio this week. They are a jazz trio using piano, bass and drums. They probably are one of the bigger names amongst the most recent of jazz groups coming out and we have really been enjoying them. The low key, soft sounds have really been nice to have as background. Anyway, I found this video a few days ago and I thought it would be a nice compliment to what we had been listening to. It is a jazz piece by John Coltrane called Giant Steps. The author of the video took the music and matched it with the sound of the music to create a really neat video where you can follow the music along with the sound to get an idea of how they match.

Have a great weekend!

An Amazing Day!!!

Today, the students made it to 30 mins sustained reading. It was incredible!!! The students each have a box of books that have been leveled to their reading level. These are the books they are using for our Daily 3 program. Every week, students get to pick new books to add to their box based on their improvements in reading. The kids are really into the program. It so wonderful to see students really getting into reading. We will be starting our Home reading program soon once Thanksgiving is out of the way.

if-you-give-a-pig-a-pancakeIn their writing, we have been working on writing stories based on the book, “If You Give A Pig A Pancake”. We recently worked together as a class on a story as an example. You can see it below:

If You Give A Dog A Shoe
Mr. Hancock’s Class

If you give a dog a shoe, he will put it on his nose. Then he will go outside and try to shake the shoe off because it stinks. Then he will chew it up. After he chews it up, he gobbles it up and swallows it.  He will get very, very, very, very sick and will have to go to the vet. After he is done in the doctor’s room, he will come out with his owner and see a orange, bob-cat. He will chase it all over the vet’s office and room knocking everything over. As he chases the cat, the dog will get caught in a cage of books. His owner will put him on a leash so he won’t run away. The dog will then get mad and start to chew off his leash. He will run into the middle of the road. All the cars will brake and smash, bang, boom, together into a huge, massive crash. After, his owner will come over and get very angry and scold him. The dog will find a shoe at the accident and start chewing it. He will throw it up in the air and it will land on his nose.

We will be starting our own stories based on that book starting tomorrow!!! Here is the spelling list for this week:
Spelling M 3

I introduced the students to Spelling City a couple of weeks ago and the response already has been incredible. I had many students bring their certificates in from after their practice and I also had a few parents writing notes stating that their child completed the practice test and got 100%. That was fantastic! Here is the link to this weeks Spelling City list:


I wasn’t able to send out the memory verse this week as our printers were down (though I guess the students could have written them in their planners!). However, the memory verse is below and we will be adding them into their planners tomorrow. I think it is a very good verse and again, it was supplied by one of the students.

Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Finally, I am not sure if you are aware of this but every week, I feature a “Music of the Week”. Each week, I highlight a different style/genre for the students to experience. I try to play some jazz, children’s music, christian, classical, vocal, etc. This week we are featuring the musical, “You’re Good Man, Charlie Brown”. It is a fun musical and the students seem to be really enjoying it. Here is a video from the musical:

Keep watching the blog this week. We have exciting things coming up. Videos, maps, notes and maybe a few cookies!!! Hmmm, keep checking here for all your news, info and fun!!!!

Songs Buzzing Around My Head

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I thought I would give you all a little Sunday gift. I found this video last week and the song has been in my head all week. So I thought that you would appreciate it if I shared it with you so we could all have the song in our head!!! It’s not as bad as an ABBA song (and if you don’t know who ABBA is, ask your parents but don’t, I repeat, don’t play any of the songs. You’ll never get them out of your head. I had one song in my head for three weeks. It was not pretty.)

Anyway, here is the song. It is an old childrens folk song sung by Lisa Loeb.

Monday Spelling and Memory Verse (And, If You’re Very Good, A Surprise!)

Here is the spelling for this week:

Spelling 01

Here is the link to the spelling activities to go along with the spelling words!

Our memory verse this week, comes from Ephesians 6:1-2

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise-

Well, I guess you have been good. Here is a neat video and a song for you!

beep_beep-160 Beep-Beep

Busy Week and A Busy Weekend!

Don’t Forget that the Science Challenge Projects are due Monday!!!

Thus ended another busy week (like how I used a spelling word?)! One thing I wanted to say though was how proud I was by how hard the students worked for the Service Day. It was an amazing afternoon. Though I didn’t quite realize how long the walk was actually going to be, the students did an amazing job and hardly complained at all though I am sure they were very tired at the end of the day. It was really inspiring and I was very proud to see how enthusiastic they were and how well they pulled together to gather garbage to help keep Chilliwack clean and spread the message!

We also planted tomatoes yesterday which was a lot of fun. We talked about all sorts of things including learning about the parts of the tomato, how Earth is the same and/or different than Mars (ask your child how old they would be and how much they would weigh on Mars if they lived there!), and started filling out and completing the parts of the experiment. The tomatoes are now in their temporary home for the time being. We will be very interested to see what happens. The students had a little big of a hard time doing their observations of the tomato seed as it is very small and light and kept disappearing. However, we did manage to get all the students to plant one space seed and one regular seed. We don’t know which seed is which (as that is part of the experiment) but the general agreement is that Seeds B are the space ones as they are rougher and pointier than the Seed A group. We shall see. Anyway, it was a lot of fun.

Today was the first big dress rehearsal for The Music Man. It has been a stressful week of rehearsals but I think things have pulled together and it should be a lot of fun. As you may know the students are being joined by Mr. Shinness, Mr. Preston, Mr. Neudorf and myself. It has been a lot of fun learning the songs and singing with the other gentlemen and just being involved in a musical again. I was telling Mr. Shinness that it has been a long time since I have done a musical and being involved in this one was bringing back a lot of memories from my High School productions. Anyway, I found a couple of clips of The Music Man for you to enjoy.

Its Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas . . .

Wow! It’s Thursday already. I haven’t written for awhile. It was a bit of a tough getting over the fact that there was no snow day but we soldiered on.

I didn’t get a chance to write about our field trip on Monday. The students behaved very well. I was very proud of them. We had a great time at Granville Island albeit a little short. The orchestra was a lot of fun and we got to hear a nice mix of composers and musical styles one of my favorite being the Aaron Copland piece, “Fanfare for the Common Man”. Copland writes such quintessential and beautiful music that brings pictures to life.

I created an animoto of our day which you can view below.

In Science today, we saw a neat site as an introduction to constellations. It was a nice guide to how to find Orion’s belt and the north star with the Big Dipper as a guide. It also started talking about Cassiopeia but we are going to wait a bit until we learn about some of the other constellations. The site is called “The Night Sky”. The students found it fun finding the constellations in the sky. Give it a try. We also made star finders but did not get a chance to learn how they worked. Once that is done, I will put the website on the blog so they can download and make their own! Once we have learned about a few constellations, we will be having a constellation party but I am not giving any details about that away yet!!! Ah yes, more SUSPENSE!!!!!! Bu-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!

For our problem of the week, we had a bit of a toughy. The question was “A number multiplied by 3 gives 21. The same number added to 21 gives . . .” A.B worked it out though with her usual aplomb and confidence. Here is how she worked it out.

As you may have noticed, there was no spelling list this week and there was no memory verse. Those will be starting again next week. However, we will be having our Mad Minutes. If you would like to practice you can download some pages from the widget or here (adding) and here (sub).

Starlight, Star – Oops, No Star Tonight!!

One of the students asked a good question today about how our Sun could ever destroy the Earth as it is so far away. Luckily, I had just found a news article about a star that is just now in the process of dying. Well, it’s not actually dying right at this instant, as it takes so long for light to reach us from that distance. We are just now seeing the light from that star.

The dying star is actually fairly close to the constellation Orion, which we have been learning about, though the star is further out than the stars that make up the Orion constellation. The star, name Te Leporis, is about 500 light years away. As it dies, it is actually getting bigger. Down below you can actually see what this means. You can see the comparison of the size of the dying star compared to the distance of the Earth from the Sun. The splotch of light underneath is an actual photo of the dying star with the comparison to our Earth and Sun above it.


A reminder that Monday is the field trip to Vancouver for the symphony and Granville Market. We will be leaving here at 8:15!!! Students need to wear Full Dress uniforms.